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Conte aims to scale Bayern skyskraper

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09 Apr 2013 18:46:59

Conte aims to scale Bayern skyskraper

Juventus coach Antonio Conte is expecting an improved performance from his players as they try to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final here.

Juve were outclassed in Munich last week where a rampant Bayern claimed a 2-0 first-leg win to put them in a commanding position to qualify for the last four of Europe's premier club competition.

On three previous occasions in the competition, the Serie A giants have failed to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit.

Should they concede a goal at home, they would need to win by three clear goals to make the semis.

Bayern, who reached the final in two of the last three years, remain strong favourites to progress but Conte insisted his players are ready to produce the performance of their lives.

"The mood in the camp is good, we're feeling positive but we're aware that we're facing a stong side that showed their potential in the first leg," said the 43-year-old.

"But we're determined, we're looking forward to the match and above all to playing a different kind of match than we did last week.

"The gap between us and Bayern is not what our performance from the first leg might suggest. My players and I know they can play a lot better than they did in Germany."

David Alaba, who beat Juve 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon after just 25 seconds with a deflected shot, and Thomas Mueller sealed Bayern's first leg win although it could have been more such was the home side's dominance.

Conte offered no explanation for their under-par performance at the Allianz Arena but admitted that when it comes to the Champions League, Bayern -- four-times winners and beaten finalists in 2010 and 2012 -- are streets ahead.

"This year they're among the favourites to win the Champions League, and that is not by accident," added the coach.

"They've been working for a number of years to raise their game for this competition and they now play at a very high level.

"People who say it's easy to win this competition have never actually won it.

"We've only really been concentrating on this for the past two years. Bayern are like a skyscraper and we're only a third of the way up.

"But, by taking a few short cuts, we've managed to reach the quarter-finals."

Giorgio Chiellini was one of the three Juve defenders given a torrid time by Bayern's incessant offensives in Munich.

He said: "We want to finish this game knowing we've given absolutely everything."

Earlier Tuesday Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said Juve were "capable of making the impossible possible."

Asked his opinion of that remark, Conte replied: "They're nice words. But we'll have to wait until the post-match press conference tomorrow to see whether Heynckes says, 'I told you so'."


AFP

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